Imagine our surprise, when the Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday claiming that labor unions where coming out against EPA safeguards to protect public health. Thankfully, the BlueGreen Alliance set the record straight today saying that they support the actions by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act and urged Congress to reject efforts to weaken this authority. The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of 10 major U.S. labor unions and four of America’s most influential environmental organizations who understand the failure to act and regulate emissions will damage U.S. competitiveness. The Blue Green Alliance has proposed a series of complementary policies Congress should pass to ensure the U.S. remains competitive while creating millions of American jobs. This is in the news because the House Energy and Commerce Committee is currently considering legislation to curtail EPA’s greenhouse gas regulating authority.
“In order for the U.S. to remain economically competitive, and in order to address our ongoing energy challenges, we must take action now to reduce carbon emissions,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster. “EPA regulations on greenhouse gases, coupled with important policies to expand clean energy and address international competitiveness, will create good American jobs, strengthen our economic recovery and launch the U.S. into the lead of the 21st century global economy.”
The BlueGreen Alliance proposes investments in cleaner, more advanced power generation, including assistance for advancements in and rapid deployment of technology, improving efficiency and maintaining highly-skilled and living wage jobs. They also urged assistance for workers and communities affected by a transition from fossil fuel generation to renewables.
“We are committed to a healthy environment and the creation of clean energy jobs, and utility workers will be on the front lines of the clean energy economy,” said D. Michael Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America. “With the right policies and investments that help America’s industries retool, including the rapid deployment of clean energy and technology assistance for maintaining good jobs, we believe that EPA measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will position the United States to compete in an ever-cleaner and more efficient 21st century economy.”
“By embracing common-sense solutions to our environmental challenges — which is exactly what Administrator Jackson plans to do — we can strengthen current industries and create new ones to increase America’s competitiveness,” said Carl Pope, Chairman of the Sierra Club and a co-founder of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Reducing carbon pollution will protect our health and our planet while creating good, middle-class jobs that this country needs in the 21st century economy.”
Want to make sure your voice is heard locally? The Sierra Club North Star Chapter is hosting a Cheers to Clean Air Happy Hour tonight (March 15th) from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Common Roots Cafe in MInneapolis! Come learn more about the issues and write letters in support of the work of the EPA to legislators.
View the BlueGreen Alliance’s statement, Protecting Our Health and Safety, Building a Stronger Economy.